New Larger Pendants for the Kitchen (Pictures/Ideas)

Steve Sheinkopf  |  January 19, 2015  |  3 Min. Read

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So you are renovating your kitchen. You have an island or table in the middle of the kitchen and now it is time to choose lighting.

Until last year, you had a choice of chandelier or smaller pendants. I just renovated my kitchen 2 years ago and carefully picked out these pendants.


Over the last couple of years, a larger pendant (not quite chandelier, but larger than the smaller pendant) has become way more popular. The question is:  What should you consider?

We will look at a short history of the pendant, some of the newest products from the best manufacturers and then try to answer the question.

Short History of the Pendant

When I started at Yale in 1986, pendants were not widely used as an application. That all changed in the middle to late 90s, because people were merging dining and living spaces into one room.


Decorative lighting was changed immediately. Islands and larger tables required a different type of lighting. All of a sudden, three smaller pendants seemed more proportional than a traditional chandelier.

So a multitude of smaller pendants was the kitchen purchase for almost 20 years. Until 2 years ago.

Larger Pendants

We just returned from the Dallas lighting market and the displays were really centered around larger pendants. Let's look.

Tech Lighting: This Chicago based company perhaps is the industry leader for high tech decorative pendants.





Hammerton:  Custom decorative steel lighting.



Visual Comfort: Great company for traditional, transitional and contemporary lighting.




Feiss:  Inexpensive, yet fashionable lighting.



Why Larger Pendants?

There are a couple of reasons for this trend. First, kitchens have become bigger both in ceiling height as well as width of islands. Proportionally, a larger light looks better in the space.



Secondly, I think this is a new trend. Decorative lighting is more of a fashion statement than a source of actual light. So this is inevitable. How long it stays a trend is another question.

Are Smaller Pendants Now Out?

I hope not. I just renovated my kitchen. If you look at Houzz, the purveyors of everything residential, then most of the featured kitchen pictures still have smaller pendants.

There are also plenty of companies producing new smaller pendants, because they fit certain applications better.

Hubbardton Forge: Best wrought iron manufacturer.




Quoizel: Commodity lighting with better design.




Tech Lighting: Smaller pendants are still a mainstay.



What Should You Buy?

First, decorative lighting does not provide good general illumination, task lighting like recessed does the heavy lifting in any lighting plan. So it's more of a question of personal preference than a question of light.

I like the bigger pieces for taller ceilings and larger spaces. You only need 2 or 3 and it will fill a larger space. For the same reason, I like smaller pendants for the opposite application.

Bigger pieces are also different and should be considered for that reason alone. Until 10 years from now when it changes yet again.

Recommended Reads

Additional Resources

Download the Yale Kitchen Lighting Buyers Guide on how to light your kitchen properly using light layering and other techniques. Over 80,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

Read our Kitchen Lighting Buying Guide



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Steve Sheinkopf

Steve is the third-generation CEO of Yale and a lifelong Bostonian. He currently resides in Boston, one mile from where he was born. Despite being one of the worst goalies of all time, he is a huge hockey fan of college hockey and the Boston Bruins. The love of his life is his daughter Sophie.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications such as the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

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